United States: Latinos think that science affects their kids' faith

Research conducted by Rise University assured that the findings might be the reason why Latinos are under-represented in science careers within the country

Latinos think that science affects their kids' faith

A recent research directed by Rice University, in Houston, Texas, discovered that the Latin community in the United States believes that science education may have a negative impact on the faith of their children.

Dan Bolger, one of the authors of the research, commented to the Latin American Post that they "were looking at how black and Latino Christians perceive the effects of science education can have in the faith of children. There has been a lot of scholarships in sociology that suggest that conservative Christian type of churches can have a negative effect on the aspirations of students going into education and science, so we were interest on investigate on what roll faith might have in that".

The investigation showed that 43% of the interviewed Latinos think that science could have a negative effect on a child's faith, compared to only 8% of African-Americas. Also, 19% of African-Americans and 14% of Latinos believe science education could have positive effect on their child's faith.

The study examined the relationship between STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and religious faith from the perspective of blacks and Latinos. The researchers interviewed 40 participants (14 Latinos and 26 African-Americans) from 4 religious congregations in two urban areas. "These people were selected from the larger Religious Understandings of Science study, which included a survey of over 10,000 people and in-depth interviews with 319 participants. The study focused on how both religious and nonreligious people perceive science", explained the investigation.

43% of the interviewed Latinos think that science education could have a negative effect on a child's faith, compared to only 8% of African-Americas

According to Bolger, "both black and Latino were concerned not about the educational curriculum, which has been a popular topic in the US, but in the possibility that the teacher might be bias in an antireligious manner".

Latinos were more worried about children losing their faith, while their black counterparts were less worried about that. They saw faith as a responsibility of the church or the family, not of the schools.

The findings are not entirely representative, due to this Bolger thinks that the study may open a possibility to make ties with churches in order to attract more Latinos and African-American to study STEM careers. That's why it is important to continue studying the implications and receive more preventative results.

"These communities (Latino and African-American) have a very important relationship with their churches. One implication of this research is to think how schools can partner with churches in order to reduce fear or concerns about bias in our educational system".

Bolger also assured that there must be a research with more people of different races and religions.


Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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